Air International 2022-09
M.Scharenborg - Fighting the fires
The Hellenic Fire Service Aviation Unit is located in Athens, Greece. With a mixed fleet of three MBB MK-117C.1s and two AS-332L.1 Super Pumas, it can conduct a wide range of tasks that go far beyond simply fighting wildfires
In the period outside the fire-season there is time to perform maintenance and conduct training with the helicopters, often focusing on hoist operations. Here, rescue workers from the 1st EMAK based at Elefsina can be seen being hoisted on to an AS.332L.1 of the Hellenic Fire Service Aviation Unit
In 2005, AS-332L.1 Super Puma (SX-HFF) was donated by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. It is on fire alert during the season, mainly at Athens Airport and equipped with a Bambi Bucket
The main task for the BK-117 during the ‘fire-season’ is providing a platform for the air tactical group supervisor (ATGS) to co-ordinate ground and aerial assets in a specified area. For that, the BK-117 will circle overhead to get a clear overview of what’s happening in the air and on the ground
The crew of a BK-117 normally consists of two pilots and an air tactical group supervisor or a crew chief, depending on the mission. From left to right: pilot warrant officer Nikos Nikolaos, pilot Panagiotis Lazos and air tactical group supervisor Lt Col George Kitsos